Back in the Groove

Well, I blinked and the summer is over!  We had a fantastic summer filled with lots of swimming/competing, family visits, summer camps, trips and sleep away camps.  We are going into this school year with a 5th grader, 3rd grader, Kindergartner and Preschooler. That’s A LOT of snacks and lunches!  Here is my first post to get things started – a day’s worth of food for my preschooler:

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Snacks (in handmade sandwich bags at the top):  one has sliced carrots with mini pre-packaged Sunbutter, other has a fig bar and mini container of peanuts

Lunch:  Vanilla Almond Milk, half a Tofurkey/Veganaise sandwich on wheat bread, popcorn, sliced cucumbers and a Clementine

This entire lunch/snack combo was packed the night before.  Think about your child’s day and what his/her needs are, as well as what you have to work with.  For example, the containers you might use for a preschooler would be different from the containers you would use for an upper grade schooler.  Size of the lunchbox is a factor.  Do they need an ice pack?  Snacks probably will be in a backpack or perhaps not refrigerated.  Carrots are a great veggie to pack for snacks because they can last in the backpack until morning snack. Pair them with a nut butter, and you have great brain food to power your child through until lunch.  Most preschools provide snack, but I still choose to send my own for numerous reasons.  My daughter will only attend 3 days a week, but I still want her to eat what I would give her at home.

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Interested in handmade lunchbox napkins, sandwich bags and other creations?  Check out my Etsy store here or click on the link below:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/WholeFoodFriday/items

 

New Recipe (GF, Raw & Vegan) & One Great Birthday Gift!

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If you know  me well, then you know that I was beside myself when I opened one of my birthday gifts and it was……….a Spiralizer!  I know, its’s hard to contain the excitement isn’t it?!? Seriously, though, I was so excited to get this because I have wanted to delve into the world of veggie pasta for a long time now.  Last night I finally made a dish using my Spiralizer, and it was super easy!  Cutting the zucchini took a few minutes, tops.  It was fun to make and eat.  There is just something about eating “pasta” that you cannot resist! There are some of you I will never convince to eat zucchini pasta, but for those of you who are interested, here is what I did!  I followed this recipe from Pinch of Yum with some changes; my version is below.

I paired this with a yummy salad and corn on the cob for a delicious, filling meal.  I also made cheesy pasta for my swimmers.  It was their favorite by far.  They ate the entire bowl, saying it was even better than the boxed pasta that I buy from Amy’s!  I have made homemade Mac and Cheese before, following recipes to the ingredient, and I have never had this much raving about it.  I literally cooked some pasta, pulled it off the stove, and mixed in a few Tbsp. of butter and a handful of Mexican cheese!  Seriously, that’s it! LOVED IT!  It will definitely be a staple in my house over the next few weeks.  Without further ado, here is the recipe for zucchini pasta:

Zucchini Spaghetti with Avocado Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 zucchini, spiralized
  • handful sliced cherry tomatoes
  • handful sliced red, yellow, and orange bell peppers
  • handful sliced carrots

Avacado Sauce:

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 Cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 Cup fresh parsley
  • 3 green onions (only green part), sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • pepper to taste

Place all ingredients into a bowl and mix.  Mash avocado, parsley and green onions together in a separate bowl, then whisk in all other sauce ingredients.  Pour sauce over zucchini noodle blend and mix to combine.  Best eaten the same day!  ENJOY!

Eating Healthy While Traveling

I know, I know, it’s hard enough sometimes to eat healthy at home, and now I am about to carry on about eating healthy while traveling.  I don’t know about you, but I really don’t like eating out.  It always makes my stomach hurt, and it’s just not something I make a habit of for this reason.  It also just doesn’t make financial sense for a family of six living on one income.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy occasionally eating out.  If I pick the right place, it is usually a positive experience.  Traveling is a different story for me.  I would rather eat healthy familiar foods and eat less than eat out 3 meals a day.  You never know what your options will be, and I would rather be prepared and play it safe.

I am writing this post as I am currently traveling to an out of town swim meet with my oldest child.  With a little planning and forethought, it is fairly simple to feed your child (and fuel your athlete, in my case) with healthy foods.  Driving to your destination makes it that much easier.  Flying is a whole different story which I will address in a later post.

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Some of my Travel Stash

Pictured above is some of the stash I brought.  We will be gone for 3 days.  I brought the following, some of which is not pictured here:

  • lentil soup (with an easy off lid that doesn’t require a can opener)
  • minestrone soup
  • Kind bars
  • everything pretzel crisps
  • almond butter
  • loaf of whole grain seed bread
  • apples
  • oranges
  • papaya (with a sharp knife to cut it)
  • pasta with loads of soy butter (cooked earlier today)
  • French bread with a little tub of soy butter
  • MEGA protein drink
  • homemade oatmeal raisin cookies
  • whole wheat crackers
  • vanilla soy yogurt
  • lots of carrots, peppers and cucumber slices
  • hard boiled eggs
  • quinoa/brown rice blend

We live an 80/20 lifestyle, so we will take advantage of the breakfast served in the morning at the hotel.  While it has additives and other ingredients I am not a fan of, there will be oatmeal available.  Oatmeal, fruit, bagels, toast, eggs, etc. will be breakfast choices.  The food I brought will carry us through the rest of the days.  I will most likely need to get my son some additional food, but I will be fine.  You can look at traveling as a good time to do a little mini purge, if you will.  Eat plenty of raw fruits and veggies, nut butter, and lots of water, and you will feel great when you go home!

Make sure you remember to bring a sharp knife to cut your fruits and veggies.  You can find plates, bowls and silverware in the hotel lobby. Make sure you reserve a room with a fridge and microwave, and you will be all set!  Oh, and if you are a coffee snob, make sure to bring your coffee and creamer as well!

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Now, I will enjoy my late night snack after driving all evening.  Have a great night ya’ll!

 

3 Days of Whole Foods (Kids)

Day 1

Breakfast:  fresh squeezed orange grapefruit juice, 1/2 banana, farina

Snack:  watermelon, whole wheat banana muffin

Lunch:  Pinto bean & cheese whole wheat quesadillas, carrot sticks

Snack:  Popcorn, homemade energy bites, apple slices & peanut butter

Dinner:  Rice Noodle, Tofu & Veggie Stir-Fry

Whole Food Friday School Lunch:  Feb 20

Whole Food Friday School Lunch: Feb 20

Day 2

Breakfast:  whole wheat banana muffin, grapes

Snack:  strawberries, oatmeal

Lunch:  1/2 Tofurkey sandwich, cucumbers, grapes

Snack:  Vegan Goldfish Crackers, apple slices

Dinner:  Whole Wheat Pesto Pizza, roasted tempeh/carrots/asparagus/sweet potatoes

Homemade Whole Wheat Pesto Pizza

Homemade Whole Wheat Pesto Pizza

Day 3

Breakfast:  Oatmeal with strawberries/raisins

Snack:  mango

Lunch:   sunflower seed butter sandwich on whole wheat bread

Snack:  leftover pesto pizza, grapes

Dinner:  Whole Wheat Burritos (brown rice, black beans, shredded cheese), corn on the cob

mango

mango

3 Days of Whole Foods

I have put together a few day’s worth of menus so you can see what I have been eating on a daily basis.  We have really been focusing right now on a 100% (organic when possible) whole food vegetarian diet with minimal dairy, gluten and sugar and LOTS of vegetables.  You know I usually aim for this diet “most of the time”.  I am trying to cleanse right now, though, so I am being fairly strict.  **This is just a menu for my husband and myself; the children ate most of what is listed, plus lots of additional things!**

Whole Food Lunch

Whole Food Lunch

Day 1

Breakfast:  KHM Green Smoothie, hard-boiled egg, coffee with small amount of sugar and half & half

Snack:  apple slices & raw cashew butter

Lunch:  spinach salad topped with egg salad, sunflower seeds, tomatoes, red onions & coconut aminos, coconut water

Snack:  Guacamole & raw vegetables, berries, green tea

Dinner:  Roasted tempeh, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower

Delicious Whole Foods

Delicious Whole Foods

Day 2

Breakfast:  BSB Green Smoothie (double serving), coffee with small amount of sugar and half & half

Snack:  apple slices & raw cashew butter

Lunch:  spinach salad topped with egg salad, sunflower seeds, tomatoes, red onions & coconut aminos, coconut water

Snack:  Guacamole & raw vegetables, berries, green tea

Dinner:  Roasted sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, broccoli & Cauliflower Leek Soup

Whole Food Dinner

Whole Food Dinner

Day 3

Breakfast:  oatmeal with lots of strawberries & pecans, coffee with small amount of sugar and half & half

Snack:  BSB Green Smoothie

Lunch:  leftovers from yesterday’s dinner

Snack: Coconut water, apple, avocado & coconut aminos

Dinner:  Quinoa Lentil Soup

That is a snapshot of the last few days.  As you can see, there is not a huge amount of variety from day to day except for dinner. Keep it Simple!!!  I feel very satiated and am not really craving other foods, except out of habit.  Nights are tough because I had gotten into the habit of eating sugary treats with all the birthdays, etc the past two months.  But with a little lemon water and caffeine free tea, all is well!

I can tell you that I feel a lot better, am less tired, have clearer skin, and my mind feels clearer.  All from 3 days, so I am excited to continue eating very clean and see what the next few weeks have in store!

Delicious Organic Cashew Butter

Delicious Organic Cashew Butter

Speedy Supper Series: Sunshine Burgers

Speedy Supper Series:  Sunshine Burgers

Speedy Supper Series: Sunshine Burgers

I came across these veggie burgers in Publix of all places!  I was searching for some new “quick” meals, and these caught my eye because I had never tried them and well, they were on sale!  I could not suppress my excitement after I read the label and saw that they were vegan, organic, non-GMO and a bonus of gluten-free. Score!  My entire family liked them, really!  I have tried so many veggie burgers in the past, both homemade and packaged, and none quite perfectly fit the bill.  These Sunshine Burgers were an all-around winner.  It also took under 5 minutes to prepare dinner because (shh…..) I microwaved them!  They were also extremely filling.  I made coleslaw as a side, but honestly, I was barely able to finish my burger alone.  The only thing about these burgers is that they are delicate and fall apart easily.  I found that pressing down my burger into the bread and fillings helped it hold together while I ate it.  It would also be delicious crumbled up with fillings in a wrap.

I served ours with various combinations of the following:

  • spicy mustard
  • ketchup
  • Vegenaise
  • melted cheese
  • lettuce mix
  • tomato
  • red onion
  • red pepper
  • avacado
  • cucumber
Sunshine Burger Label

Sunshine Burger Label

Recipe: Gluten Free Vegan Stir-Fry

Gluten Free Stir-Fry

Gluten Free Vegan Stir-Fry

Gluten Free Vegan Stir-Fry

Ingredients:

  • brown rice noodles (pictured below)
  • peanut, sesame, or Asian stir fry oil
  • soy sauce or Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • extra-firm tofu, cubed
  • 2 cups slaw mix (shredded cabbage/carrots)
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 zucchini, quartered into thin pieces
  • 2 celery sticks, sliced thin
  • 1/2 head broccoli, cut into small pieces
  • 3 carrots, sliced thin
  • peanut sauce (see recipe below)
GF Rice Noodles

GF Rice Noodles

  1. Cook noodles according to package.
  2. Roast broccoli on 425 for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Saute onion, zucchini and celery on medium-high in stir-fry oil until tender.
  4. In separate pan, steam carrots until tender.  Remove lid to allow remaining water to evaporate.
  5. Remove carrots from pan, and in same pan saute tofu on medium-high in stir-fry oil until crisp.
  6. Remove tofu from pan, and in same pan add slaw mix with a splash of soy sauce.  Stir for a few minutes to combine.

Peanut Sauce

I did not measure for this sauce.  Add the following (approximates; I did not measure) to the Vitamix and adjust to taste:

  • few large spoonfuls of peanut butter
  • few Tbsp. soy sauce
  • few Tbsp. white balsamic or brown rice vinegar
  • small squeeze of honey
  • water (to desired consistency)
GF Stir-Fry

GF Vegan Stir-Fry

Normally with stir-fry I throw all the veggies in together to saute; however, this sometimes ends in my children eating noodles and tofu 🙂  This time I took the extra time to saute things separately and it worked great.  This way the kids could pick and choose what to top their noodles with.  This was a tasty and simple dish to throw together.  The thing I loved most was the crunchy cabbage/carrot mix that was barely cooked.  Most of the work was in the veggie cutting.  You could save time by buying chopped veggies or cutting them ahead of time.  Also, it is easy to substitute any veggies that you have on hand.